October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

James Franco, Mila Kunis heading to “Oz” with Sam Raimi

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: James Franco and Mila Kunis have been signed to star in Sam Raimi’s “The Wizard of Oz” prequel “Oz, The Great and Powerful,” it is being reported.

The two actors, both with ties to Oscar-nominated films, will play roles that have been attached to multiple A-list talents over the past few months. Franco will appear as a young illusionist who hops into a hot air balloon as he’s fleeing from a traveling circus and ends up in the land of Oz. At one point, Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp were in consideration for the part that eventually went to Franco.

Kunis, meanwhile, will move from demonic ballerina to the role of witch Theodorah, who eventually goes on to be come the green-skinned Wicked Witch Of The West, who we know (and hate) so well.

Nymag.com is reporting that Kunis “chose Raimi’s movie over the Hughes’ brothers’ forthcoming live-action remake of 1988 Manga movie ‘Akira.’ It was rumoured that Franco would appear in that remake too.”

Oddly enough, Franco and Kunis shared screen time in the Steve Carell-Tina Fey comedy “Date Night,” playing a criminal couple who had reservations at a New York eatery but skipped them, triggering Fey and Carell’s wild night on the town.

Raimi’s film, not to be confused with the oft-discussed adaptation of the Broadway hit “Wicked,” is expected to be in theaters in 2013.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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